Fixed Gear Crit

HolyCrit Jakarta won by track sprinter Muhammed Nur Fathoni

Last week, the HolyCrit Jakarta race took place. The event, organised in partnership with local bike messenger collective Westbike Messenger Service as part of Indonesia Fixed Day, was held on 14 October at the Jakarta International Expo.
Text: Saeful Hakim
Photo: Andrea Maulana
Video: Fixietas Jakarta

The race was marked by a series of firsts – on top of being the first ever edition of the race to be held in Indonesia, the race also saw 9-time champion Faz Adhili (Plan A) being beaten to second place for the first time in the race’s history.

The man who had the bragging rights of dethroning the multiple time winner was none other than seasoned track sprinter Nur Fathoni (Life Behind Bars JKT), a bronze medalist for Indonesia in the keirin event at the Southeast Asian (SEA) games just a few months ago (which saw world keirin champion Azizul Awang clinch gold).

The race saw riders tackle a technical 1.2km circuit, with 5 laps for each qualifying round and 20 laps for the finals. 70-odd participants were grouped into 4 qualifying groups, with the top 5 from each round proceeding to the finals. Despite a slight downpour prior to the start of the finals, the 20 finalists paid no caution the wind whatsoever, with constant attacks from the get-go. The 3 man team from KL’s Mayhem Fixed, consisting of Irfan Shatiran, Muhd Syafiq and Irfan Shatiran, fresh from racing the UCI 2.2 Jelajah Malaysia road race a week prior, animated the race with their unrelenting approach, taking turns to give the pack a run for their money. Eventual champion Fathoni, too, put his sprinter’s instincts aside during the race, instead choosing to test the mettle of his competitors with a few strong surges.

Alas, their constant attacks didn’t bear fruit, as the technical circuit made it tough for attacks to stick. As the race approached the final lap, the reduced pack of 10 riders was all together. With virtually every rider approaching the final without a teammate, the finish proved to be a tactical affair, marked by cat-and-mouse tactics. Nur Fathoni ultimately prevailed, using his strength and experience from his years as a track sprinter to good use. Launching an unstoppable sprint early from the second last corner, his initial burst established a sizable gap, leaving the rest of with minor positions to battle for. Faz Adhili crossed the line second, and disappointed, while up and coming local boy Gibran Aliza came in third.

Men’s podium:
1. Muhammed Nur Fathoni – Life Behind Bars JKT
2. Faz Adhili – Plan A
3. Gibran Aliza